The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the nation's population ranged from a low of 330,730,000 to a high of 335,514,000 as of April 1, with indicators of an aging population and an increasing percentage of young Latinos.
The bureau, during a press call Tuesday, released what it calls its "Demographic Analysis" that estimates the nation's population as of April 1, but is completely separate from the 2020 Census.
The analysis provides only an estimate of the population at the national level, without any breakouts by states or counties. It uses vital statistics: birth records dating back to 1945, death records and Medicare enrollment for the population born before 1945, and recent immigration records.
Bureau officials said the analysis was a key way to gauge the accuracy of the 2020 Census — due to come out in January — to detect possible undercounts and overcounts of segments of the population. The analysis is released before information from the 2020 Census comes out to show the analysis is independent from the census, officials said. It has been developed in collaboration with outside researchers.
Victoria Velkoff, the bureau's associate director of Demographic Programs, said the analysis provides three estimate ranges: low, middle and high. The low population estimate was 330,730,000, the middle, 332,601,000, and the high, 335,514,000.
Although the bureau did not provide a comparison to 2010, a Newsday story that year on the Demographic Analysis estimate of the 2010 population ranged from a low of 305.7 million to a high of 312.7 million. The 2010 Census counted 308.7 million people.
The bureau has been conducting a Demographic Analysis since 1960, said Eric Jensen, the bureau's senior technical expert for the Demographic Analysis.
He said while the key use of the Demographic Analysis is to assess the quality of the decennial census, which won't be possible until the 2020 census data are released, he said what is clear from the Demographic Analysis now is "We continue to see the U.S. population is older … It's an aging population. We also see the percentage of Hispanics, the population 0 to 29, is higher than what we saw in 2010 and other times."
Jensen added, "Really, the key findings of Demographic Analysis come when we're able to compare them to the census counts."
The analysis also looked at broad racial groups. But because historical data was not available for some racial groups, and only incompletely for Hispanics — all states did not provide birth information on Hispanics until 1990, census officials said — the only racial breakdowns in the analysis are for Black and non-Black, or Black in combination with other races or non-Black in combination with other races. A breakdown for Hispanics was available only for ages 0 to 29.
The estimates of the "Black alone" population, Velkoff reported, was a low of 13.5% to a high of 13.9%. And the percentage of the population estimated to be only Black or in combination with other races was 14.9% to 15.4%.
The population estimated to be Hispanic under the age of 30, ranged from 23% to 26%.
Normally, the 2020 Census counts would be released by Dec. 31, as the Constitution mandates, but bureau officials have said the count probably won't be released until January, citing the coronavirus pandemic — which caused the bureau to delay field work for several months.